by Promise Ingram
To all concerned family, friends and comrades of my Dad:
A few days after he was in population, a gang war occurred between the Blood Gang and 30 Deep in which a planned assault happened on Black Friday at 6 p.m. around the prison. Officers ran to all buildings, unable to stop the happenings. Administration pulled all officers from their posts abandoning the prisoners and those hurt. Rioting began. Buildings were set aflame, trashed, barricaded, control booths entered, break outs with shots fired from guns and tear gas canisters from posted national and state guards armed outside. Most of the happenings were not reported to the public.
It was like a night in Berlin as my father describes it. Prisoners prevented entry with barricades and moved under the cover of broken lights and smoke screens created by fire extinguishers. Traps were set to catch propelled tear gas canisters, fences were scaled. Prisoners scurried through holes on their elbows and knees evading the shots by rifles. After a lockdown was established – it lasted for three weeks – they were fed only bread and water.
Two days after the lockdown was lifted, my father was confronted by admin (administrative staff) and placed in lockdown for making and leading congregational salaat (prayer), as they have always prayed five times a day. He was then told that as long as they were breathing, he would never walk the compound again and it would take a Higher Power other than them to ever let him out of the hole. It was also mentioned by the deputy warden that they would assault and tear gas the Muslims if they continued to make congregational prayers.
My father says it’s no different than chattel slavery, the colonization of Africa, the eradication of Native American people and their culture, Hitler’s hatred for Jews and Blacks, Apartheid, the struggle during the Civil Rights Era. Well? The only difference is that it is Blacks doing it to Blacks in this case as the administration and staff is 99 percent Black over a population that is 85 percent Black at the prison.
He was then told that as long as they were breathing, he would never walk the compound again and it would take a Higher Power other than them to ever let him out of the hole. It was also mentioned by the deputy warden that they would assault and tear gas the Muslims if they continued to make congregational prayers.
As retaliation they sent him to a more violent disciplinary prison farther away from home and stripped him of most of his personal property, thus making him buy it all from the state again.
He didn’t stab anyone, didn’t have a knife or any type of weapon. They didn’t even search for one. He was not fighting, was not causing a disturbance, nor was he disrespectful to staff – all of which are the plagues of the prison. He was simply praying. Praying? Praying? Praying! Which is something he will continue to do. Pray.
Promise Ingram is the loving daughter of KimJon Ali Ingram, 615770, Telfair State Prison, P.O. Box 549, Helena, GA 31037. Send him some love and light. Promise can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.